Hart district officials were warned Wednesday by the District Attorney’s Office for the procedure they used in selecting Chris Fall to replace Paul Strickland’s seat on the governing board.
A complaint was received regarding the June 5 appointment, which occurred after a five-hour interview process and several rounds of voting.
After a lengthy review, investigators alleged a Brown Act violation.
“Based upon an examination of the June 5, 2013, ballots from each round of voting, it would appear the voting was conducted by secret ballot since none of the ballots nor the minutes of the meeting contain the name or other identifying information of the board member who cast each vote,” according to a letter from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office’s Public Integrity Division.
Hart district board President Joe Messina said district officials had not had a chance yet to fully review the letter or its claims with legal counsel.
“When I was made aware of what was happening, I spoke with the superintendent, who contacted our legal counsel, and we will work together to address the concerns of the District Attorney’s Office,” Messina said. “We’ll be giving the District Attorney’s Office more information that they may not have about the (selection) process so that we can move forward without any misunderstanding.”
Hart district Superintendent Rob Challinor said district officials, including himself, were never contacted during the investigation.
The votes were conducted in open session, but the results of the votes were not made public in the meeting’s minutes, which was cited as the violation.
The letter states that a Brown Act violation of this nature could result in a lawsuit, and the results of the improper action could be rendered null and void by a judge.
In the case of Fall’s appointment, even if a legal recourse were deemed necessary over the alleged violation, it would be moot because Fall later resigned from the seat to avoid a potential conflict of interest regarding a contract negotiation before the governing board.
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s governing board oversees all of the Santa Clarita Valley’s public junior highs and high schools, which educated more than 20,000 students.
The Ralph M. Brown Act was passed in 1953, creates guidelines, rules and procedures for the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies.
“One aspect of the public’s right to scrutinize and participate in public hearings is their right to witness the decision-making process,” the letter states. “If the votes are cast secretly, the public is deprived of its right under the Brown Act.”
For Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March, Soliant, one of the nation's largest healthcare staffing companies, has announced that Valley View Community School Playground in Santa Clarita is one of the 10 best inclusive school playgrounds in the United States.
Santa Clarita Valley residents remember March 2020 as the month that schools in all five districts of the SCV were closed due to COVID-19. Now, three years later, 19 volunteers with the Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation have returned to the classrooms of seven elementary schools in the SCV with the Read With Me Program.
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The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a closed session special meeting Tuesday, March 28, beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed immediately by the council's regular open public meeting at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers on the First Floor of City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita, CA 91355.
Angeli Francois, a College of the Canyons English adjunct instructor, has received a 2023 Hayward Award for ‘Excellence in Education’ from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges for her dedication and commitment to serving and empowering students from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has announced the 14th annual State of the County is scheduled for Wednesday, May 31 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Valencia, 24500 Town Center Drive, Valencia, CA 91355.
Guests are invited to search for a golden egg decal placed on any of the Outlets at Tejon, 5701 Outlets at Tejon Parkway, Arvin, CA 93203. retail windows. The Golden Egg Scavenger Hunt will be held April 4-8.
A free, timely and important LifeForward workshop, “Be the Boss of Your Money – Make it Work for You!” hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, will be held Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
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The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation has announced that California-based Vallarta Supermarkets will relocate its corporate headquarters from Pacoima to the Santa Clarita Valley in late 2023.
Playing for the third time in five days, the CSUN women's tennis team extended its longest winning streak since 2015 to nine as the Matadors defeated Chaminade 7-0. CSUN's nine-dual winning streak is tied for the fifth-longest in school history with the 2006 and 2015 teams.
Circle of Hope Inc., a non-profit organization in Santa Clarita dedicated to providing emotional, financial, and educational support to individuals and families affected by cancer, is thrilled to announce their upcoming Hoedown For Hope Music Festival and BBQ fundraising event.
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles has openings at its all-girl summer camps and are enrolling now for camps that take place June through August. Openings are at day camps in Inglewood and Claremont, and overnight camps in Frazier Park.
Beginning Monday, March 27, crews will start the construction of median modifications, paving, grinding and overlay operations along Plum Canyon Road, between Bouquet Canyon Road and Skyline Ranch Road.
On March 21, 2023, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion adopting a plan for the County Probation Department’s halls and camps, specifically as it relates to establishing Secure Youth Treatment Facilities following the transfer of juvenile serious offenders from state to county custody.
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